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Italian cuisine

Italian Seafood Stew

If you have never made an Italian seafood stew before then you are in for a real crowd pleaser! This recipe is one that all my Sicilian-Italian friends use over and over again, and virtually any seafood lover is bound to enjoy.

Traditionally seafood stews were made as a peasant dish that would literally combine whatever was leftover at the end of the day from the fishermen’s catch.

If you are going to splurge on any ingredient for this seafood stew please let it be the fish. I personally love adding haddock that flakes perfectly and soaks up all the stews many flavours.

While you can add fresh mussels and clams to this cioppino, you can also opt for canned if you prefer. Also, feel free to mix and match what shellfish you choose to add. There really isn’t one right way to make an Italian fish stew, but the more shellfish the better in my opinion.

Ingredients:

3 Tbs. olive oil
1 leek, white and light green portions, halved, washed and thinly sliced
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, with juices
1 1/2 cups fish stock
1 cup dry red or white wine
1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3/4 lb. firm white fish fillets such as halibut or haddock, cut into 1-inch chunks
18 small mussels or clams, well scrubbed
6 oz. fresh lump crabmeat, picked over for shell fragments

Directions:

Cook the vegetables.

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the leek and fennel and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes with their juices, the fish stock, wine and thyme. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover partially and simmer for 1 minute to blend the flavours. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook the seafood

Add the fish and mussels to the pan, discarding any mussels that do not close to the touch. Cover and simmer until the mussels open and the fish is just opaque throughout 3 to 4 minutes. Add the crabmeat and simmer for 1 minute to heat through. Ladle the stew into shallow bowls, discarding any mussels that failed to open, and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Italian Seafood Stew
Italian Seafood Stew
Italian Seafood Stew
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: italian food, italian stew, seafood, stew
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 800 kcal
Ingredients
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 leek white and light green portions, halved, washed and thinly sliced
  • 1 small fennel bulb trimmed and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 can 14 1/2 oz. diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 1 1/2 cups fish stock
  • 1 cup dry red or white wine
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3/4 lb. firm white fish fillets such as halibut or haddock cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 18 small mussels or clams well scrubbed
  • 6 oz. fresh lump crabmeat picked over for shell fragments
Instructions
  1. Cook the vegetables.
  2. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the leek and fennel and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes with their juices, the fish stock, wine and thyme. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover partially and simmer for 1 minute to blend the flavours. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook the seafood
  4. Add the fish and mussels to the pan, discarding any mussels that do not close to the touch. Cover and simmer until the mussels open and the fish is just opaque throughout 3 to 4 minutes. Add the crabmeat and simmer for 1 minute to heat through. Ladle the stew into shallow bowls, discarding any mussels that failed to open, and serve immediately. Serves 4.

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